Outline and Evaluate Two Explanations of Conformity.

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Outline and evaluate two explanations of conformity.
Normative social influence is a type of conformity compliance, where people behave in a way in which the majority are. This is where a large majority of people are able to indirectly control other people by making it difficult to oppose their views or opinions, thus making the minority feel pressured into complying. Although it may not change the minority’s opinions, some still conform to avoid social judgement and rejection of a large group. Asch’s study “Research into Majority Influence” (1996) clearly showed that 36.8% of the responses in 12 critical trials were incorrect due to the participants conforming under the pressure of 5 other confederates. This showed that humans have a tendency to fall under social pressure and conform to beliefs (their public beliefs, not their private) that they themselves do not believe.
Informational social influence is similar to normative although the participants in Asch’s study were found to change their public and private beliefs, an example of internalisation. Informational social influence is most likely seen when the situation is unclear to the participant, where the situation is of great importance that occurs quickly so rapid decision making is needed and where the participant is to believe an expert’s opinion – where humans are more likely to believe someone that knows what to do or say. Wittenbrink and Henly’s (1996) found that when participants were exposed to negativity toward African Americans, they later reported more negative beliefs about a black individual than they did before the study. Informational social influence is dependent on the situation and era of time. A study from the ‘60s couldn’t be generalised and used as a valid theory in the 21st…...

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